Dog Parks - Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?
There are thousands of dog parks across the country. Some people love them and some hate them. Maria Goodavage writes for Dogster and has written on the subject of dog parks. Goodavage notes that dog parks can be great places for pooches to run around in leash-free bliss. But there's another side to dog parks that's not all wags and smiling snouts. Most people and dogs thrive in them, and they’re huge social outlets for both species. People can take their dog for a “talk” instead of a walk, and the dogs generally seem to enjoy sniffing each other’s tushies and chasing each other around with abandon. But when a lot of dogs share a relatively small space where they can’t get out, and where people often aren’t paying attention, it can be a recipe for trouble.
During visits to dog parks with and without my dog, Goodavage notes that she has seen a lot of happiness and real joy. There’s nothing like watching a dog tearing around gleefully, with her tail high and a smile on her snout. And most of the people who use them are friendly and extremely responsible. They’re invested in their park try to make sure everyone is safe. If there’s a problem, they deal with it.
Goodavage has also seen her share of the not-so-good side of dog parks: Aggression, smaller dogs being trampled (shaken, not badly injured, thankfully; dog parks with a section just for little dogs helps this problem), and owners who ignore any bad behavior or anything their dog does at all - including pooping.
It can get downright ugly sometimes. In March 2012, a Siberian husky allegedly killed a Chihuahua at a fenced dog park in Ohio. Dogs and people have been bitten in dog parks. People have even become physically aggressive with other people if they felt their dog was getting a bad rap about something.
It got us wondering what you think about dog parks. Do you use them? Do you avoid them? Have you had great experiences, terrible ones, or both? Please share your stories and opinions.
If you would like to read more from Maria Goodavage, go to http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/lets-talk-dog-parks-love-em-or-hate-em